06/09/2007 12:00AM

Teuflesberg rallies in Stephens


ELMONT, N.Y. - The amazing recuperative powers of Teuflesberg, who rebounded from a 39-length defeat in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile to win his last two starts of 2006, were in evidence again Saturday when he bounced back from a 17th-place finish in the Kentucky Derby to win the Grade 2, $250,000 Woody Stephens at Belmont Park despite a troubled trip.

"He has overcome a lot of obstacles in his career, and he showed it today," winning rider Robby Albarado said.

Teuflesberg broke last after stumbling badly at the start, trailed early, and steadied in traffic on the turn.

Meanwhile, Stormello broke like a shot to the lead, with several rivals in hot pursuit. Among them was Deadly Dealer, the 9-5 favorite, who faded from the picture after a half-mile in 44.93 seconds.

Stormello was momentarily clear turning for home, but was then swarmed from both flanks in upper stretch by Most Distinguished on the outside and Teuflesberg toward the rail.

Teuflesberg ($18.20) struck the front just before six furlongs in 1:09.08 and drove clear to win by two lengths in 1:21.49 for seven furlongs. It was his first graded stakes win, and fifth win from 17 starts overall for trainer Jamie Sanders, a former assistant to Nick Zito.

"We can go in the King's Bishop or maybe even the Travers," Sanders said.

Most Distinguished outfinished Stormello for the place.

"Today, the pupil beat the teacher," said Zito, who trains Most Distinguished. "I thought we had the race coming for home."

Sports Town, second choice on the morning line, was scratched after suffering a minor but untimely injury to his left hind leg.

"He was perfect all morning, but he must've got a little nick because, out of the blue, he couldn't put his leg down, and all of a sudden it got acute," trainer John Terranova said. "The good news is he's going to be fine."

True North: Will He Shine upsets

Capitalizing on a huge opening that developed on the rail on the far turn, Will He Shine and jockey Edgar Prado went on to post a $22.80 upset in the Grade 2, $200,000 True North Handicap.

"It worked out perfect for us when the rail opened up," said Dale Romans, who trains Will He Shine for Savario Pugliese and Marc Wexler. "We told Edgar in the paddock, 'Just send him today. Don't try and rate him, just take the race to them.' He did just that, he took the race to them and held them all off."

Will He Shine's advantageous trip occurred after Keyed Entry, who grabbed the early lead from even-money favorite Bordonaro, drifted out badly on the far turn, carrying Bordonaro extremely wide. That allowed Will He Shine to move up inside and take over late on the far turn. The 5-year-old son of Silver Deputy drew off to a five-length lead in midstretch and held sway to score by nearly two lengths, completing the six furlongs in 1:08.70 over a fast track conducive to swift times. Suave Jazz rallied to be second, finishing a half-length ahead of entrymate Dashboard Drummer. Council Member finished fourth, a neck farther back.

As for Bordonaro, he tired in the stretch to finish seventh.

"It kind of took him an eighth to find his stride," Richard Migliore, rider of Bordonaro, said. "When he did catch his stride, he moved up the right way. But then [Keyed Entry] bore out so badly, and took us out to the middle of the track. I had to ride just to keep that horse [Keyed Entry] in, but by the eighth pole, it all took its toll."

- Mike Watchmaker

Birdstone: Papi Chullo romps

Papi Chullo ($5.40) overcame a slow start to post a five-length victory in the $100,250 Birdstone Stakes, a performance that may earn him a shot at Horse of the Year Invasor in the Grade 1 Suburban Handicap here on June 30.

Under Eibar Coa, Papi Chullo didn't break with the field, and spotted his four rivals a two-length head start. But Papi Chullo drug Coa to the leaders and was head-and-head with Naughty New Yorker after a half-mile run in 46.12 seconds. At the half-mile pole, Papi Chullo took the lead, then turned back a challenge from Hesanoldsalt to record his first stakes victory. Papi Chullo, a son of Comeonmom owned by a partnership headed by Steve Sigler's Winning Move Stable, covered the 1o1/8 miles in 1:47.33.

Hesanoldsalt held second by a neck over A. P. Arrow. Evening Attire and Naughty New Yorker completed the order of finish.

"When he was head-and-head for the lead after a half-mile I thought we were sunk, especially with the half not that slow and three-quarters in [1:09.62], and for him to draw off," winning trainer Gary Contessa said. "If this horse comes out of this race sound, we're going to go to the Suburban, because this horse deserves a shot."

- David Grening

* Meribel ($5.50) unleashed a lethal stretch kick under Garrett Gomez to sweep past the field and win the $83,500 Foresta Stakes by 1o1/4 lengths over I'm In Love. It was a neck back to Calla Lilly.

Meribel, a 4-year-old daughter of Peaks and Valleys and trained by Christophe Clement, covered the 1o1/16 miles in 1:41.97 over a firm Widener turf course. She is owned and bred by Arthur Hancock and Catesby Clay.